Lower-limb prosthetic alignment using force-line vector visualization

Award Information
Department of Health and Human Services
Award Year:
Phase I
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Small Business Information
Hubzone Owned:
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator
 () -
Business Contact
Phone: (614) 430-5421
Email: chris@bertec.com
Research Institution
DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): This force-line vector visualization system will address prosthetists' and physicians' needs for a method of realtime displaying the ground reaction forces (GRF) generated during amputee ambulation coupled with images of that movement. This method provides an accurate visual representation of the magnitude, origin, and orientation of the GRF as it passes through the amputee's ankle, knee, and thigh - greatly aiding objective prosthetic alignment regardless of the compon ents utilized. Though there have been several systems designed in the past, there is not yet an economical, sensitive, fast, easy to use, commercially-available force-line system that truly satisfies the clinical needs of the prosthetics and orthotics comm unity. To address this need, Bertec Corporation and MossRehab propose the I) Production of a real-time, multi-view, turnkey force-line vector visualization system with slow motion playback and a self-calibrating camera that can be marketed for approximatel y the cost of an existing commercially available force plate, and the II) Development of educational and training materials to standardize the existing scientific and clinical knowledge base for use with the force-line system for prosthetics and orthotics. To accomplish this, a solid foundation of research must first be established in Phase I through these technical and clinical specific aims. The technical aims seek to: 1) Develop a proof-of-concept model for the visualization system through the collection , testing, design, and fabrication of the electronics, software, and hardware; 2) Evaluate this model from both a functionality and clinical user point of view by testing its resolution, sensitivity, and accuracy, and then making it available to clinical u sers - whose feedback will dictate further refinements to the model; 3) Investigate integration of the visualization system into a self-contained device by performing a preliminary design based on the test results of aim 2. The clinical/educational aims un dertake to: 4) Study the alignment techniques used at Moss Rehab with the goal of identifying, quantifying, and recording the steps used for different amputee populations. The resulting notes and video will serve as the basic training tools; 5) Train at le ast three prosthetists on Moss Rehab's system using the above techniques, notes, and video; 6) Evaluate how well each of the prosthetists aligned the lower-limbs with the goal of identifying the best educational methods and the strengths and weaknesses of the early training materials; 7) Based on the results of 6, lay out a syllabus and a plan to develop an educational course that focuses on efficient positioning and alignment of any commercial components in relation to the force-line display. The completio n of phase I will result in a fully functional testbed model that has passed a clinical evaluation, primary stage training materials, and plans for the self-contained force-line visualization system and for the fully developed training materials to be cons tructed in phase II. Our system will assist in improving and standardizing the alignment process in orthotics and prosthetics; additionally, it is expected to be valued by those in the fields of education, biomechanics, and rehabilitation engineering. PUB LIC HEALTH RELEVANCE. increased likelihood of amputation, clinicians are seeking economical, accurate, fast, and reliable technology to assist in achieving optimal alignment. Optimal alignment is crucial for amputees' increased mobility, decreased energy e xpenditure, and increased functionality. Force-line vector visualization assists in finding that optimal alignment as it displays the ground reaction forces superimposed on images of the amputee.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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